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Religare Health Trust's distributable income for Q4 up 1.4% to S$15.3m

RELIGARE Health Trust (RHT) on Wednesday reported a 1.4 per cent rise in distributable income to S$15.3 million for the fourth quarter ended March 31, even as revenue for the period slid.

Distribution per unit (DPU) for the quarter edged up 0.5 per cent to 1.91 Singapore cents from a year ago.

Revenue excluding straight lining fell 2.8 per cent to S$33.8 million, while net service fee and hospital income slid 3.4 per cent year on year to S$23.3 million.

For the full year, distributable income rose 5.9 per cent to S$61.6 million, due to underlying growth in the business and a more favourable contracted exchange rate in FY2016.

For the six months ended March 31, 2016, RHT's trustee manager declared a DPU of 3.82 Singapore cents, bringing the full year DPU to 7.72 Singapore cents, up 5.5 per cent.

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Revenue excluding straight lining in FY2016 grew 6 per cent to S$138.4 million, driven mainly by an increase in variable fee. Variable fee, derived based on the revenue earned by the operator, was up as Fortis Healthcare Limited saw an increase in its average revenue earned per operating bed (ARPOB). ARPOB across the RHT portfolio rose by about 4.8 per cent. The total revenue in FY2015 excludes the gain in connection with the acquisition of Mohali Clinical Establishment.

Net service fee and hospital income for the full year also edged up 2.2 per cent year on year to S$93.6 million.

As at end March 2016, RHT's gearing remained at a relatively low level of 18.1 per cent.

Gurpreet Dhillon, chief executive of RHT's manager, said: "This set of results shows that we have been able to grow the RHT portfolio organically. While the number of operating beds in RHT's portfolio remained fairly constant against the last financial year, RHT's total revenue grew by 6 per cent. This is due to inbuilt 3 per cent annual growth in base fee revenue, as well as growth from the operator's revenue which had contributed to an increase in RHT's variable fee. By revamping parts of our clinical establishments, we were able to facilitate our operator in providing higher end medical treatments, thereby boosting their revenues."

In its outlook, the manager said global markets remain volatile, adding that slowing growth in various major economies coupled with volatility in interest rates and foreign exchange signal challenging times ahead.

Despite the uncertain economic outlook, healthcare is one of the few sectors where the demand is fairly consistent regardless of the economic situation, it said.

"To further augment the stability in demand, RHT's clinical establishments provide specialty medical treatments that are generally non-elective, and operate in a geographical location where the supply for hospital beds is currently below that of the demand," the manager said.

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